Late Forcier TD, Warren key interception seal victory for Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Tate Forcier seemed to have no trouble shrugging off an injured shoulder to throw another game-winning touchdown pass.

What really hurt was the celebration.

After Forcier threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Martavious Odoms with 2:29 left to give the 23rd-ranked Wolverines a 36-33 win over Indiana on Saturday, he got a congratulatory slap on the right shoulder.


Forcier winced and twisted his body away, but by then, Michigan wouldn't need him to do anything more than kneel the ball after Donovan Warren's interception on Indiana's next snap let Michigan (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) seal its fourth straight win

"It's a bruised shoulder," Forcier said, not specifying which one was hurt. "We'll take a look at it and see what we have and we'll go from there."

The freshman quarterback led another fourth-quarter touchdown drive two weeks after his pass with 11 seconds left beat then-No. 18 Notre Dame.

He actually led two on Saturday, leaping for a go-ahead TD and a 2-point conversion to put Michigan ahead 29-26 with 9 minutes left. But Indiana immediately answered with Darius Willis' 85-yard touchdown run to go back on top.

So Forcier had to do it again. He was hurt on the pivotal possession, but came back in time to connect with Odoms in the end zone on 3rd-and-7.

"We had a play called and checked into a different play," Odoms said.

The hookup prevented Indiana from winning in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1967 -- before Bo Schembechler coached Michigan.

Indiana got the ball back for one last try, but Ben Chappell's pass to Damarlo Belcher was ripped away by Warren on a play that stood after video review with 2:14 left.

"We both rolled over on the ground and I outtugged him for it," Warren said. "I just read the route, broke on the ball, read the quarterback's eyes and made the play."

Instead, the Wolverines are 4-0 and rapidly putting the memories of last season's dismal 3-9 effort behind them -- though there were a few moments that resembled 2008.

Rich Rodriguez said earlier in the week he'd like the Wolverines to be good enough to play poorly and still win. He got his wish.

The Hoosiers (3-1, 0-1) had four go-ahead scores -- including with 8:57 left on Willis' long run -- and easily outgained Michigan with 467 yards of offense.

"I thought about what a big win this would have been for our football team," coach Bill Lynch said.

Forcier had one costly mistake, throwing an interception on an ill-advised pass after doing a 360-degree spin in the pocket. Fellow freshman quarterback Denard Robinson was stripped of the ball late in the second quarter, leading to a field goal that sent Indiana into halftime up 23-21.

Settling for field goals was costly for Indiana.

Nick Freeland tied a school record with four of them, but was wide left on a 42-yard kick early in the fourth quarter.

"That's the big difference," Lynch said. "But you've got to give Michigan's defense some credit, they loaded up and kept us out of the end zone."

After running for 69 yards in his first two games, Willis had 152 yards rushing and a score on 16 carries. Tandon Doss had five catches for 104 yards and Chappell was 21 of 38 for 270 yards.

Carlos Brown turned one of Forcier's short passes into a 61-yard score -- a week after he ran for a 90-yard TD -- and had a 41-yard score on the ground against Indiana. Brandon Minor had 50 yards rushing and a TD, and converted a third down with a run to allow Michigan to drain the clock.

That sealed the Wolverines' perfect record heading into their first road game against Michigan State (1-3, 0-1), which is desperately hoping to salvage some pride in what has been a disappointing season.

"I'm leery of a rivalry game -- every time," said Rodriguez, who lost to the Spartans at home last year. "It doesn't matter the records, it doesn't matter the venue, it's going to be intense."